«Get back to the ring and we will fight again if he wants.»
Manny Pacquiao showed up Saturday in Vegas and he did his job, just as he’s been doing for 24 years now. In a 12-round decision, he defeated Adrien Broner, the 61st victory of his career. He also made it clear he’d once again take on his old foe Floyd Mayweather—if the undefeated champ they call «Money» is down for it.
Pacquiao went the full 12 with Broner, only showing his age by working smarter, not harder—though he gave credit to his corner for that wisdom, saying later that though he «wanted to be aggressive more, my camp told me don’t be careless and to counter him and wait for opportunities.»
Still, he landed plenty of punches, many hard, and Broner never really got any truly good shots in.
Adrien Broner didn’t agree with the judges’ unanimous decision for Pacquiao.
This despite the crowd agreeing with the judges as well, booing Broner as he postured like a winner following his loss. «I came and I gave them what they weren’t looking for,” Broner said later. “If you ask me,» he continued, «I feel like I won the fight, but I’m not about to sit here with a sad face. I’m all right, I’m all right and I will be back and I will be champion again.»
Anger at losing is understandable, but Broner couldn’t be blamed if he was more annoyed at actually being third on the bill here, as Floyd Mayweather was a bigger subject of conversation than he was.
Following the fight, Pacquiao responded to multiple questions regarding his former (supposedly retired) opponent: «My message is I’m still active, and if [Mayweather] goes back to the ring and wants to challenge me, I’m a champion. Get back to the ring and we will fight again if he wants.»
«If he wants to come out of retirement,» Pacquiao said of Mayweather, «then announce it and challenge me. I’m a champion and I don’t pick any opponent. I’m just waiting to see who will challenge me.»
Mayweather wasn’t really willing to say much of anything one way or the other, and was almost testy in the video above, saying «You keep asking me about Manny Pacquiao. He needs to get past Adrien Broner first. And right now I’m living a happy and healthy life.»
A Showtime announcer even tried to pull Mayweather into the ring after the match, but he wasn’t having any of it, apparently having said his piece, for now.
So a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch is still up in the air, because after all, neither said, «no way, no how.» And Money is keeping relatively sharp with what amounts to show matches against the likes of Conor McGregor and kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa.
For now, though, both fighters can just enjoy rolling around in their money.